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    14 February, 2006

    RCT Housing Again

    An excellent letter from Cllr Paul Cannon in today's Western Mail:

    SIR - I refer to the letter (February 7) which appeared in last week's Rhondda Leader, Pontypridd Observer and Western Mail from the Plaid Cymru trio of Jill Evans, Pauline Jarman and Leanne Wood.

    First of all, I would like to point out that during the previous Rhondda Cynon Taff administration when the Welsh Nationalists were in control, they had proceeded quite a long way down the road of housing stock transfer. They abandoned the process for only one reason, the imminent local election of 2004. Showing complete disregard for the future of our tenants, they shelved the process. The only concern they had was the effect that such a decision would have made on their election prospects. The electorate spoke loud and clear in June 2004, and Welsh nationalism in RCT was confined to the political dustbin.

    In the letter, they state that the tenants are being asked to vote to transfer their homes to a private housing company. This is absolute nonsense and typical of the political posturing we are used to from Plaid Cymru.

    As the Cabinet Minister responsible for council housing, I can state quite categorically that every single tenant throughout RCT will receive a full and detailed offer letter. This will clearly set out what they will be asked to vote on.

    In their letter, the trio have sought to muddy the waters by mentioning Iraq, Trident and new aircraft carriers. What on earth can these issues have to do with social housing?

    The fact of the matter is that between 1999 and 2004 when the nationalists were in a position to improve social housing, they turned their back on our tenants.

    This administration will not do that under any circumstances. Everyone has a right to affordable social housing which is fit for the 21st century. Stock transfer will ensure that this is the case and we support it wholeheartedly.


    Lead Cabinet Member for Safer Communities and Housing, RCT

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